Friday, 30 September 2011

The Number 231 Route

Enfield Chase Station to Turnpike Lane Station

Thursday September 8th 2011

We (Mary and Linda) had taken a slightly longer than necessary, but still short, walk from Little Park Gardens through bits of Church Street (bustling and with a beautiful fish shop) and then dithered about which side of the road to be on to catch the bus clearly lurking by the station. We crossed to admire the Magistrates Court, at which point the 231 (only four an hour) sailed past on the other side of the road. This would not have happened if Jo were here, they muttered, though worse was yet to come*.

We waited in what looked like autumn sunshine – very unsure of itself – and then boarded the next 231, at 10.51. It continues along the High Street and we were pleased to see a very traditional market with stripy stalls clustered round the Market Cross. We passed through Enfield as quickly as speed restrictions allow, passed our last sighting of the New River and very soon were out along the Great Cambridge Road – a dual carriageway aka the A10.

Once on this stretch the bus went fast, stopping only occasionally by request. The scenery flew past at a speed where it was hard to make detailed observations: the road seemed to be bordered by trading estates interspersed with several allotments and some-one is building a Travel Lodge. The only place of any interest seemed to be the Enfield Edmonton Community School based on large site along the A10 called the Cambridge Campus, though I have failed to find where the rest of the school hangs out. This route plus the rather more frequent 217 must suck up some of the travelling pupils. Further in towards the North Circular (not again you cry) there are houses set back a little from the road, most of which had retained their front gardens – the reason for this we thought was that it would be difficult to drive off the A10 into your front garden. Sunflowers were very evident both here and on the several allotments.

Inevitably we reached the substantial Great Cambridge Roundabout, with little hold-up today, and continued south on the A10 still continuing in its dual carriagewayed incarnation. There were signs to the ‘North Mid’ which is the name locals give to the North Middlesex Hospital: this is the local community hospital that we had seen on our travels last week but it is a way back from this major road. We also passed the now faded flowers attached to a fence along Roundway seeming to spell out RIPOKI – I had struggled with this already and eventually came it the conclusion it said,” RIP OKI” as a more likely memorial. However I have failed to find any local connections for a dead Mr/Ms Oki and feel it may well be a tribute to a  famous horse ?

Once off the dual carriageway that is Roundway we followed the Westbury Road, which seemed by contrast quite narrow and claustrophobic but is actually just a standard inner London road. Amongst the Victorian era homes was a huge Baptist church, and then we were into the back of Turnpike Lane Station to rest up with other waiting buses.

The whole trip was under 25 minutes and that’s about all there is to say!

* See the saga of our misadventures at the start of the 221…

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